THE QUARTER QUELL

thg-catchingfireTHE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE (2013)
5 out of 5 stars

WATCH IT BECAUSE…
1) Jennifer Lawrence is amazing as Katniss Everdeen. There’s something about her acting that makes me violent (damn you, President Snow) and want to cry at the same time.
2) Sam Claflin is hot as Finnick Odair.
3) Jena Malone is fucking amazing as Johanna Mason.
4) This second instalment is darker and more political (aren’t they all?) and twist at the end will leave your jaw dropping.

WRITING A NEW DESTINY

PJSOMPERCY JACKSON: SEA OF MONSTERS (2013)
3 and a half out of 5 stars

Percy Jackson is back and this time, he has to retrieve the Golden Fleece from Polyphemus in the Sea of Monsters to heal Thalia’s tree, that has been protecting Camp Half-Blood after it has been poisoned by Luke (Jake Abel, deliciously bad). However, Luke is also after the the Golden Fleece to resurrect Kronos. So, it’s a matter of who gets to the Fleece first and uses it for what purpose.

It’s always interesting whenever demi-Gods are involved but do they have to resurrect Kronos too (I’m talking about Wrath of the Titans)? So now we have teenagers preventing the resurrection of Kronos, whom we all know will destroy the human race. Their journey to the Sea of Monsters is hilarious because of Tyson and his noisy backpack. Nathan Fillion is charming, as usual, as Hermes. Though, the story is screaming for a sequel because the prophecy has yet to be fulfilled. And who’s money is betting on Luke surviving this sequel?

YOU DON’T KNOW JACK

jtgsJACK THE GIANT SLAYER (2013)
3 out of 5 stars

Nicholas Hoult movies back-to-back in Singapore! Woots!

First I’ve got to admit that I lost count of the number of times I referred to this movie as “Jack and the Beanstalk”. This is an updated version of the fairy tale and it’s slightly more bloody and gruesome because they depict giants eating humans and their love for humans as pastry fillings.

What I liked about the movie was the mythology of how the human ancestors managed to control the giants and lived in peace until some power hungry fellow stole the beans and aims to be the ruler of the giants’ kingdom. Stanley Tucci is delightful as the villain and Ewan McGregor is just plain charming as the royal guard in his accent. Although the story is kind of predictable, you’ll still want to watch how Jack saves the day.

BE FIRST, BE SMARTER OR CHEAT

MARGIN CALL (2011)
– 4 out of 5 stars 

One of the more underrated movies of 2011, Margin Call features quite a spectacular cast – Kevin Spacey, Jeremy Irons, Stanley Tucci, Paul Bettany, Demi Moore, Simon Baker, Zachary Quinto and Penn Badgley (the last three are considered eye candy as well).

Will Emerson: Well, that was fucking hideous.
Sam Rogers: It’s gonna get worse before it gets better.

The movie goes along at a steady and calm speed, even though you know what’s going to happen (the BIG financial crisis). They calmly analyze, they calmly hold meetings and they calmly process the matter. There is little or no shouting at all. Well, there’s sobbing, courtesy of Badgley but that’s another matter altogether. I was really impressed with Demi Moore’s role in the film as some high-powered career woman because she was the only woman among all the men! Bravo!

Somehow, watching such movies helps to tinkle my memories of what’s left of my finance education. And I was really amused by the fact that they all have the same reaction to the “big revelation”… which is saying “fuck me” aloud. Imagine the good-looking cast saying it together, in one big gif. Oh well, that’s just my Tumblr-self speaking out loud.

With Oscar season round the corner, Cathay Cineplexes are re-releasing the movie! Go catch it before its run really ends.

IS THIS A TEST?

CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER (2011)
– 3 and a half out of 5 stars 

Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) has always wanted to join the army but his small built and poor health has always deterred him. His lucky day arrives when he chances upon Dr. Abraham Erskine (Stanley Tucci), who recruits Rogers into the “super-soldier” experiment and he ultimately becomes Captain America. His help is needed when by Johann Schmidt (Hugo Weaving), leader of the Nazi’s experimental division HYDRA, plans to unleash their WMD on different parts of the world.

Hayley Atwell is stunning! Love the ’40s makeup and outfits. Plus, she shoots well! Chris Evans was just really hot with all his muscles and running and fighting. I really liked the scene where his character, Rogers, went towards the grenade when everyone else went away. It was also really cute that he misunderstood the term “fondue”. It was a really wholesome movie though there were some sad parts (Bucky!) and it has made me really psyched about The Avengers. I should really find time to watch Iron Man soon. Amanda Righetti from The Mentalist has a bit part this movie too!

STAY TILL AFTER THE CREDITS TO CATCH THE TEASER FOR THE AVENGERS, COMING YOUR WAY NEXT YEAR!

SALMON, LIKE THE FISH

THE LOVELY BONES (2009)
– 4 out of 5 stars

The Lovely Bones is truly a long-awaited movie. After hearing about its book-to-movie adaptation, I read the book more than two years ago and was kinda disappointed that the release would be delayed till March 2010.

Based on the novel by Alice Sebold, it tells the tale of Susie Salmon, a 14-year-old girl who was murdered and how she continues to watch over her family and her murderer while living in the In-Between, somewhere between Heaven and Earth. The murder comes at an inappropriate time, because her crush had just asked her out and she has yet to experience her first kiss. Her father’s hobby of building junks in bottles will become lost as Susie was the only one who appreciated the art.

Stanley Tucci is freakingly creepy as George Harvey – he got an Oscar nod for Best Supporting Actor. With his unkempt hair, moustache and his obsession to paint his roses red, my first suspect would be him. (He’s better off as the fashionista in The Devil Wears Prada).

At 138 minutes long, it can be quite long a movie but you wouldn’t feel it because you will be rooting for the Salmons as her story grips you right from the beginning. Her family starts to crumble after her murder. Her father is bent on finding the murderer while her aggrieved mother wants to move on. Her murderer, Harvey, starts getting complacent but keeps his guard on when Jack (Susie’s father) and Lindsey (Susie’s sister) start to suspect their “unsuspecting neighbour”, Mr. Harvey. The climax of the movie came when Lindsey broke into Harvey’s house to gather evidence (that useless cop refuses to do anything without evidence) and that was truly a heart-in-mouth moment. The ending is apt because Harvey truly deserved it.